Opinion Article Underestimates Benefits of Low-Calorie Sweeteners

ATLANTA (January 6, 2014) — A recent opinion article underestimated the benefits of low-calorie sweeteners. Low-calorie sweeteners have been shown to help with weight management and blood sugar control.

Low-calorie sweeteners can be beneficial in aiding with glycemic control. Several human studies have found that low-calorie sweeteners do not affect insulin or blood sugar levels.

  • A 2013 review study by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that low-calorie sweeteners could be used to both help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes.
  • In 2012, researchers Maersk et al. concluded that consumption of low-calorie sweeteners did not lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • A 2011 study by de Koning et al. did not find a link between using low-calorie sweeteners and diabetes.
  • A large study in 2008 by Palmer et al. found no relationship between drinking of diet soda and developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers also noted that switching from regular to diet soda may aid in weight loss.

Low-calorie sweeteners can be useful tools in weight management. Low-calorie sweeteners can be a useful tool in strategies for lowering and/or maintaining body weight. This is especially important as people struggle with consuming too many calories. Many studies have found that consuming foods and beverages with low-calorie sweeteners may help control calorie intake.

  • In a 2012 review by Anderson et al. The Journal of Nutrition, the authors found that the results of randomized control trials – the gold standard of study design – of low-calorie sweeteners do “not cause weight gain in adults.”
  • A 2012 review of low-calorie sweetener consumption by children and adolescents found by Foreyt et al. The Journal of Nutrition found that low calorie-sweeteners could be “used as one aspect of a multi-faceted program may be beneficial in preventing and reversing overweight and obesity.”
  • In 2012, Bellisle et al. published a review in The Journal of Nutrition that found that “consumption of artificially sweetened foods and beverages does not promote weight gain and might lead to modest weight loss.” Additionally, the authors found that “consumption of artificial and low-energy sweeteners might provide an effective strategy to manage energy intake and body weight.”
  • A 2012 review by Fernstrom et al. from The Journal of Nutrition found that “low-calorie sweetener ingestion does not increase food intake or body weight.”
  • Finally, a 2012 study by Maesrk et al. published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that diet soda had the same effects as water and did not cause weight gain among participants.

According to Theresa Hedrick, MS, RD, LD, dietitian for the Calorie Control Council, the use of low-calorie sweeteners can be beneficial in providing variety for those trying to manage their health. “Low-calorie sweeteners can help people enjoy the foods they love while cutting calories and sugar. That may lead to better blood sugar control and weight management.”